Sunday, January 25, 2015

A new water system at foothill

With the pigs moved over to foothill this winter,  we needed a better way to get water to them. 50 pigs can use a LOT of water! hauling in barrels from teh farm gets old fast.. so... we decided to build a temporary water delivery system there.

The irrigation ditch is flowing decently through the property... like a small creek. Plenty of water to keep the pigs happy.  What we needed was a no electricity way of getting water from the ditch to the waterers. What makes this a tad tougher is that the pens and therefore the waterers move all around the 60 acres weekly!

What we did was a combination approach. Each pen has a water holding tank with a spigot. These tanks are metal and hold around 40 gallons of water. Thats enough for several days depending on weather.  The pigs drink from the drinking spigot installed on the lower edge, so these are power free and need no pressurized water. Plus they can freeze / thaw with no damage!

What we needed net was a way to get water to the waterers out on pasture. The answer for now is... our homemade water trailer. This is a little metal trailer frame from Harbour Freight with a 65 gallon water tank mounted on it. There is also a 12v electric pump and a small AGM battery and a small solar charger panel. The panel keeps the battery up the battery provides enough power to run the pump to move a few hundred gallons.  There is a check valve, faucet, and a well pump pressure switch connected and installed on the trailer. The end result is a easily moveable source of water up to 65 gallons that can be drain that tank in several minutes from solar power under pressure.

Only one problem left... how to FILL the water trailer without power.

What we decided to do is install a large plastic water tank on a tower of pallets. The tank is jusst over 500 gallons, and raised up on the pallets allows to gravity feed the water into the water trailer through a regular garden hose.  

To fill the storage tank, we bought an inexpensive "trash pump" from harbor freight that runs on gas.  With a quick hookup today, we have a system where the storage tank can be filled by the water pump within about 15 minutes on minimal gasoline. That water can then be used to fill the water trailer up to 10 times! Seems amazingly easy and straightforward!

Here are some pics from putting this together today:

Here is the water tank sitting on the pallet tower. Hunter helped stack all these!

Water pump connected to the feed line, sitting on a plastic pallet and ready to go!

Everett loved to man the vinyl 2 inch hose! ITs just like a fire hose dad!

Toby had the most important job of all.. guarding the sleeping theodore!

Here is Levi getting ready to hold the pressure hose to fill the water tank

Can he handle this?

Looks confident!

Yep! He is doing a find job! A bit heavy though.

Back to the drawing board... who says you cant cut 1 1/2" PVC with a pocket Leatherman Tool!

Now its so easy, levi and Everett can do this by themselves!

And there is the finished setup. You can see the water starting to fill the tank already. 

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